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Unitec Institute of Technology


Unitec Institute of Technology

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Master of Professional Accounting

Key information

Level of study:
Master's Degree
Tuition fees:
18 months
Start date: Expected July-2022
Unitec Institute of Technology
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Course details


This advanced programme enables you to put your undergraduate degree (or equivalent work experience) towards a career in professional accounting - and provides a pathway to membership with professional accounting bodies.

This Master’s degree has been designed for those who would like to pursue a new career in professional accounting. It’s a conversion programme, meaning you have the advantage of covering core knowledge and competencies - and developing higher level capabilities - quickly so you can start working as soon as possible.

This includes analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, technical accounting skills, and research capabilities to operate in a variety of small to medium enterprises, as well as some larger organisations.

Professional accounting bodies

To work as a registered chartered accountant or certified practicing accountant in New Zealand, you need to gain membership to the following professional accounting bodies:

  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ)
  • Certified Practising Accountants Australia (CPA Australia)

There are so many benefits to being professionally certified and registered – global networking opportunities, discounted professional development – so when you successfully graduate this programme, you’ll have the academic requirements you need to apply for provisional membership.

What you’ll learn

The Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) is an 18-month, 180-credit programme studied over three semesters. It’s made up of 10 compulsory courses – nine 15-credit courses at Level 8 (including an internship), and a 45-credit research project at Level 9.

Here’s a snippet of the technical and people skills you’ll gain and develop over the duration of the programme:

  • Accounting theory and practical experience. Apply advanced knowledge of accounting and practice in financial accounting management accounting, taxation, audit and assurance.
  • Research skills. Ability to undertake applied research.
  • Collaboration. Work collaboratively with diverse teams and cultures and build positive working relationships in Aotearoa and global contexts
  • Communication skills. Effectively and professionally communicate with a range of stakeholders.
  • Business ethics. Critically engage with ethically and socially responsible accounting practices.

As part of your studies, you’ll complete a 50-hour work-based internship where you’ll develop a proposal in collaboration with an external organisation, agree on objectives and timelines, and then complete the mahi.


  • Financial accountant
  • Management accountant
  • Auditor
  • Taxation accountant
  • Assistant accountant
  • Intermediate accountant
  • Provides a pathway to becoming a Chartered Accountant (CA or CPA)

Entry criteria

For applicants 20 years or older

  • Provide sufficient evidence of aptitude or appropriate work or other life experience that would indicate a successful outcome in the qualification.

For applicants 16 years or older

  • A recognised Bachelor’s degree (or higher) with merit achievement deemed to be a grade average of B- or higher; or
  • A professional qualification in a relevant discipline, recognised as being equivalent to merit achievement in a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

If English is not your first language you need to have Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (no band <6.0) or equivalent. Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years.


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